The following appeared yesterday.
NEHTA HR bill off limits
- Karen Dearne
- From: Australian IT
- October 20, 2010
OPPOSITION calls for details of the National E-Health Transition Authority's spending have once again been rebuffed by the Health Department.
In replies to outstanding Senate estimates questions from June 3, Health yesterday released year-old figures for NEHTA's expenditure on contractors and consultants.
With Health back before the Community Affairs committee today and e-health matters on the agenda for tonight at an estimates hearing, Health belatedly supplied information from NEHTA's 2008-09 annual report, published last October 29, among a flurry of answers over the past week which saw the portfolio file expand from around 230 pages to 772 by the close of business yesterday.
The department's response simply repeats the 2008-09 financial statements showing NEHTA spent $56.4 million on consultants and contractors that year, up from $13.4m in 2007-08.
Yesterday we had the Secretary of the Department of Health saying at Senate Estimates she could not control NEHTA but if she wanted anything she had to, essentially, ask nicely.
Now we have this.
I really wonder if our parliament is actually running the country or not. If it was then the views and concerns of Senators would be treated with a great deal more respect I believe.
With the bizarre Government we have had over the last three years with sudden unconsulted announcements and so one I really wonder just what is going on.
The last government effort was Senator Conroy saying he would legislate adoption of the NBN. One wit quickly asked “Why would that be needed if it was so good?”
Minister threatens to use law to force people on NBN if states revolt
Georgina Robinson and Ben Grubb
October 21, 2010 - 11:03AM
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says he will wield federal law as a weapon to force people on to the national broadband network (NBN) if the states and territories don't make connections mandatory.
"We are working our way through the issues with the states and ... we ultimately would consider if we can't reach settlement, mandating it through the federal parliament. But we prefer to be engaged with the states," Senator Conroy said, speaking to this website from Parliament House yesterday.
He added that the federal government hadn't "exhausted those conversations yet". He also said that the matter of a connection being mandated was "not a new issue".
Hardly a core Labor value to stuff technology that people may not want or need down their throat! Maybe they will legislate iPads or Pay TV next?
This was then added to today as the Shadow Treasurer (Joe Hockey) witters on about re-regulation of banking system for pure political theatre and populist appeal - talk about giving up on basic Liberal values and throwing integrity out the window.
Heaven spare us from either mob. I wonder who is actually running things. NEHTA perhaps? Or maybe there is some wacky gas affecting all of Canberra - who knows? There is something going on that feels pretty odd to me!
Sorry for some of this being political comment but it all seems really that this odd 'hung' political environment has had all sorts of, usually reasonably sane, people just 'slip their moorings'!